The health and wellness industrial complex isn’t designed to make you healthy. It’s certainly not designed for people who don’t fit into easily checked boxes. For us, the health and wellness industrial complex is something to navigate, something to deal with, and something to endure. That’s why we need something else. We need more. We need radical holistic wellness that comes from a place of connection, a place of safety, and a place of discovery. We need to free range and find our own paths. Only then will we find out what wellness means to us.
- you can create your own definitions of health and wellness, even if you don’t match society’s ideal image of “health”.
- being neurodivergent isn’t a deficit or a super power. It’s a state of being that allows us to view the world in new and interesting ways.
- chronic illness doesn’t need to be inspirational. Frankly, it sucks a lot of the time, and it shouldn’t keep us from finding our own wellness.
- the wellness wheel goes around for a reason, because nothing ever stays completely the same.
- body size doesn’t equal health and there are no magic foods or supplements or eating programs that work for everyone.
- it’s okay to ask for help and seek out information. It’s also okay to know when the information isn’t right for you.
- disability can come from the medical and the social model at the same time, or one, or the other. And it changes from day to day.
There are no miracle cures or quick fixes. It’s often a combination of western medical practices and the ways in which we integrate all aspects of our selves–physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, energetic–that yield the results we’re wanting. In my 20+ years with fibromylagia, I’ve found neither yoga, nor meditation, nor energy work to be quick fix cures, but I have found them to have powerful and profound effects on my life. That’s why I believe in the wellness wheel and in finding connection.
We are not meant to separate our mind and body, treating them as if they’re packed in two different boxes, never to be put back to together. We are meant to be whole, complete, and amazing beings who are supported, safe, and connected in the lives we want to live.
My dream is to create a world where that’s possible. To create spaces where we come together to move gently, with joy and laughter, as we discover ourselves by tuning into ourselves. Where we find connection and safety as we explore the wellness wheel together, and what it means to each of us, to be well.
My well doesn’t look like your well. And your well won’t look like anyone else’s. It probably won’t look the same day by day, and that’s all right. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. We’re more than the molecules which make up our bodies and our minds.
The journey to realizing we are more than our bodies, more than our minds, more than the labels which define us, begins with living as if we are more than the body. It begins by finding connection, by finding safety, and by finding ourselves as whole, complete beings just as we are. You’re whole and complete just as you are. Right now. Right here.
The Health and Wellness Industrial Complex would reduce us to pieces and parts, to labels, so that it can “fix” what it perceives is wrong with us and claim itself a victor, while it waves around a trophy of paperwork and billing codes large enough to hide the human suffering left behind. Forgotten. Alone.
I’m not saying that there aren’t things the Health and Wellness Industrial Complex can’t do. It can do a lot. It helps a lot of people. But it doesn’t have all the answers, and there are too many who are told “we don’t treat pain” or “it’s all in your head” or “your results are normal” who still need answers, support, and care.
We are unique. Our health is not up for debate. Our wellness is not something we have to earn. And we cannot be reduced to dollars and cents on a ledger somewhere. Let’s throw off the shackles of separation and normativity. Let’s go free range and start finding radical wellness for ourselves.
“The cosmos is also within us, we’re made of star stuff,” Carl Sagan.
“We are star stuff. We are the universe made manifest trying to figure itself out.” Delynn (Babylon 5)